How to Clean Hard Water Stains in Coffee Pots

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A coffee pot or maker needs a bit of care every once in a while to keep all those brewing parts running at their optimal best.
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The smell of fresh coffee brewing first thing in the morning is a wonderful way to wake up for those who favor the classic caffeinated beverage. Although the coffee pot may be the central part of your morning routine, it tends to go unnoticed and gets the least amount attention when it comes to household cleaning.

A coffee pot or maker needs a bit of care every once in a while to keep all those brewing parts running at their optimal best. From oily and caked coffee ground residue to a layer of crusty minerals from hard water buildup in the coffee maker, there are many things that can get in the way of the machine creating that perfect morning cup of joe.

A clean glass coffee pot isn't hard to accomplish with the right coffee pot cleaner.

Lemon Juice to Clean a Coffee Machine

The inside of the coffee pot can get ringed with old coffee that has sat too long in the glass or metal carafe. When a quick rinse doesn't dissolve this stain on the bottom and sides of the coffee pot, a wash of lemon juice can break down the oils that have clung to the surface of the inside of the carafe.

Lemon juice can be bought in bottles, or you can use the juice from fresh squeezed lemons. Mix a 1/2 cup of lemon juice with a 1/2 cup of water and pour it into the coffee maker's reservoir. Let it sit and soak for about 15 minutes before running the machine through a cycle so it can break down oils and light layers of mineral deposits from hard water.

If using fresh lemons, don't discard the rinds. Place the rinds and 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of the carafe and run a plain water cycle through the coffee maker for a sparkling pot. Run a plain water cycle through the machine after it is clean to ensure no lemon essence lingers and finds its way into your morning brew.

Vinegar to Clean a Coffee Maker

A good coffee pot cleaner is vinegar. The common cleaner makes fast work of unwanted hard water buildup on the inside of a coffee maker's reservoir and filters. A few cups of straight vinegar run through the machine will clean it out quickly, but will also create a strong acrid odor.

Once the hard water deposits are washed away, rinse out the carafe with soap and water to ensure all of the vinegar has been lifted from the glass or metal surface. Wipe out the hot plate under the carafe and run a water cycle through the coffee maker.

Coffee Pot Cleaner

It's effective, affordable and perfect if you just need to clean a glass coffee pot. A mix of ice cubes and layers of table salt will work to break down oils and old coffee stains from glass and metal pots.

Place a layer of salt along the bottom of the carafe and add enough ice cubes to cover. Swirl the pot around so that the ice and salt mix well and cling to the sides of the carafe. As the salt melts the ice, it will cause an abrasive action and gently scour the inside of the pot.

If you have left a small amount of coffee on the burner too long, then you may need to add fresh lemons to this mix. Rinse well when the task is complete.

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Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.

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